Diva Ash Grabs early Lead and Cruises to Edgewood win

May 14, 2011 John Asher

Zayat Stables’ Diva Ash took the lead going into the first turn and never trailed again to win the 26th running of the $113,800 Edgewood Presented by Kentucky National Insurance for 3-year-old fillies by 1 ½ lengths over Sassy’s Dream on Friday, Kentucky Oaks Day, at Churchill Downs.

Diva Ash gave jockey Kent Desormeaux his second Edgewood victory and the first for Louisville-born trainer Dale Romans.

After taking the lead, Diva Ash led the field of eight through fractions of :24.87, :50.92 and 1:15.60 while running unopposed on the front end. Turning for home, Diva Ash spurted away and was not threatened in the lane in covering the 1 1/16 miles on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:45.93.

Diva Ash, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit out of the Boundary mare Positioning, improved her record to 3-2-1-0 and her bankroll to $100,459 with Friday’s $68,439 check.

Diva Ash returned mutuels of $9, $5 and $3.40. Sassy’s Dream, ridden by Alan Garcia, returned $9.20 and $5.40 and finished a half-length in front of Smart Sting, who paid $2.80 to show under Javier Castellano.

Bonita Star (GB) finished a head back in fourth and was followed in order by Niji’s Grand Girl, My Redbyrd, Subpoena and My Phi Temper.


DALE ROMANS (Trainer, Diva Ash, winner) – “Handicapping the race ahead of time I knew there wasn't going to be a lot speed. (Jockey) Kent (Desormeaux) came to the paddock and asked permission to let her run away from the gate if no one went with her and we said it would be fine. It ended up perfect because they were going so slow and he was out there. He just had too much horse left.'

KENT DESORMEAUX (Jockey, Diva Ash, winner) — 'It worked out really well. We thought if we could get the easy lead, take it. But I tell you, she was pressured all the way from the half-mile pole. She had to run so she was very capable. The pressure came at the half-mile pole and she was ready for the action.'

ALAN GARCIA (Jockey, Sassy’s Dream, second) – “She tried really hard. The pace was really slow and we just couldn’t get by the winner.”

KEN MCPEEK (Trainer, Sassy’s Dream, second, and Niji’s Grand Girl, fifth) — “She ran real well to get second. The other filly, she broke on the wrong lead and she finished on the wrong lead and I wasn’t real thrilled with that. She’s better than that.”

JAVIER CASTELLANO (Jockey, Smart Sting, third) – “I was concerned that there wasn’t any pace in the race and that’s what happened. She broke sharp and wanted to go to the lead, but I wouldn’t let her. She responded well when I asked her, but the front runner just didn’t come back. She’s a really game filly.”

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